NWIRC is partnering with Penn-Northwest Development Corporation, West Central Job Partnership, and Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce to present the Industry Forum, ‘Attract, Develop, and Retain Employees’. The program will be held at the Park Inn by Radisson in West Middlesex on February 4th from 9:00am-3:00pm.

Attract, develop, and retain- three words essential for a successful business. Pertaining to manufacturing, there is a national concern regarding the difficulty of finding and keeping people, along with the exodus of retiring baby boomers. This Industry Forum hopes to connect manufacturers from across the region for networking and to gain insights for improving in all three, interdependent areas when it comes to employees- with an overarching thread of company culture. Here’s a quick snapshot of the importance for each:

Attract. It’s evident in Pennsylvania over the last several years that greater emphasis has been placed on career readiness education and programs to attract youth into manufacturing careers by both the public and private sectors. As more youth become interested in manufacturing careers, there is still that element of whether they will be attracted to your company.

Develop. This activity goes hand-in-hand with the others because a plan to develop your employees will increase your success of attracting and retaining. The Work Institute’s 2019 Retention Report cites that the number one reason for employees voluntarily leaving a company is related to career development and continues to trend upward. Developing internal career pathways, ongoing-training, and creating an internal company academy are initiatives observed of companies with a little to zero turnover rate. Developing employees improves their engagement, the overall company culture, and a company’s ability to stay competitive.

Retain. With so much focus today on attracting youth and ‘filling the pipeline’, it’s important to keep your sights on retention. Employers know that turnover is expensive, but according to the Report, “a focus on retention has not reached an expected level of urgency”. Company culture is an important factor to not only attract the new generations (millennials and Zs), but also to get them to stick around.
The Industry Forum will kick off with highlights from the 2019 Work Institute’s Retention Report. Attendees will participate in a discussion on generational diversity that will highlight points in history that define each generation and their common traits- from Traditionalists and Baby Boomers to the Millenniels and Zs. Understanding personalities, communication styles, and workplace goals for each are all critical to enhancing a company’s on-boarding and employee development plans. A featured guest speaker is Scott Covert, Training Coordinator at Penn United. His stories come from the shop floor as he shares innovative ways companies can use training and forging relationships to help with recruitment and retention efforts.

Key takeaways from the day will include learning how to assess company culture on various levels and where to make improvements. Letting employees know their value in the company, how they contribute to the overall mission, and offering opportunities for growth- are some best practices for both attracting and retaining employees.
Find more information about the Forum at www.nwirc.org/events.